Post by Ainslie Walker
Tea with Christopher Chong, Nick Smart and Portia
When Portia invited me to meet Christopher Chong of Amouage I was obviously there in a flash!! Libertine Parfumerie‘s Nick Smart and his team from Agency De Parfums had allocated us a 30 minute time slot to chat about Amouage and introduce a new fragrance.
We left 2 hours later!!!!
Starting out ceremoniously, we were served tea amongst beautiful flower arrangements and the new brightly packaged Midnight Flower candles and room sprays. With the 4 ambient fragrances – Hope, Smile, Love and Happy Christopher shares the positive memories of his dog Georgi, who sadly passed away. The scents contrast with the sophisticated Amouage back catalogue, yet hold resemblance amid the depth of emotions behind them. With 50% of the sales going to the guide dog foundation it has been a healing project for Christopher who much prefers nights in, in his home in London’s Battersea with his dogs rather than going out.
Christopher’s role as Creative Director of Amouage means he sets the story, mood, tone and suggests ingredients he wants included and then briefs a perfumer of his choice. He is not a nose, however has worked with top perfumers including Bernard Ellena, Alexandra Carlin, Emilie (Bevierre) Coppermann. Nathalie Feisthauer, Alexandra Carlin and Violaine Collas.
Christopher then told us about Sunshine, releasing in December in Australia exclusively
Sunshine by Amouage 2014
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Artemisia, black currant, almond
Heart: Osmanthus, jasmine, magnolia, vanilla
Base: Juniper, patchouli, papyrus, white tobacco
Packaged in yellow, gold and white and nestled in an eggshell blue and gold wooden box, Sunshine immediately screams of a new direction for Amouage, a more mainstream idea and Christopher Chong mocking all the brands that have been influenced by (or even copied) his innovations.
It’s creamy white goodness engulfs me…
Sunshine starts sweet as if an excited infant with mouth full of a fruit and marzipan-loaded wedding cake has breathed in my face in delight. It’s somehow juicy and powdery at the same time. I can also smell a bunch of balloons. I am thinking happy and celebratory thoughts while wearing this. Weddings, fairs, rollercoasters and jolly things like that. It’s bright, big white floral and gourmand for sure. But is it sunshine? The sun is definitely out, but I’d almost say its balmy late afternoon sunshine, not the scorching middle of the day sun we have here in Australia.
Osmanthus provides an enchanting and slightly exotic twist that somehow levels the swarm of sweetness engulfing me. It’s now as if the sunshine is surrounded by some thick deep and cosy cumulus clouds that we peer through olfactively. Osmanthus is a relative of lilac and has a similar kind of creamy powderyness to its scent. They do seem like cousins, smellwise, with Osmanthus being fruitier to me, somewhere between peachy mango and dried apricot in its heart. Osmanthus flowers can be creamy white right through to orange, but for perfume its the orange flowers that are used.
There is heavy waxy floral jasmine component evident throughout. Milky notes are waxy almond and nutty.
Sunshine’s slightly oriental tendancies and magical twists of Artemisia give it depth and keep it interesting. Its unisex for sure. Drydown seems to go forever (eight hours plus!) and at the end of the day my shirt still smells strongly, smoldering more and more…in fact getting quite sexy in contrast to its opening.
At the end of our time together Christopher signs our Amouage discovery box gifts and we leave him, exhausted, but giggling the whole ride down to planet earth via the lift!!
Ainslie Walker xxx
All the clear photos donated by Ainslie Walker, all the shit ones by Portia x